Customizing your Benefits Strategy to Take on the War for Talent in Construction

Construction & Real Estate, Employee Benefits, War For Talent

We don’t have to tell you twice that it’s more difficult than ever to hire (and retain) good talent in your industry. Workers are open to new opportunities at any time, as the current job market seems to be offering robust, creative benefits and compensation to those with the right experience and skill set.

How do you stand out from the competition, while proving to your current employees that the grass isn’t greener on the other side?

Custom benefit offerings.

The truth is, your company can’t afford to approach benefits the way that other companies in other industries do. It’s not enough anymore to implement a generic benefits package. Construction companies that are winning the war for talent are looking beyond basic benefits to strategies that take your employee population’s largest challenges into account.

What benefits do construction employees want?

Construction professionals are unlike any other type of employees – and your benefits should reflect that.

The first step is understanding the challenges and obstacles your employees are facing in their day-to-day lives. This can even change across your industry due to geographic factors, socioeconomic factors, etc., so it’s imperative that you spend time getting to know your employee population’s desires and needs from their benefits package.

A few employee challenges that we’ve come across while working within your industry include:

  • Financial security
  • Mental health and holistic wellness
  • Lifestyle costs
  • Lack of engagement

You have the opportunity to solve these challenges for your employees. Forward-thinking construction employers are seeking out opportunities to provide creative benefits to their staff in order to solve challenges, engage employees, and become an employer of choice.

Creative benefit examples for construction

Evaluating your employees’ specific needs is the key to developing a benefit strategy that can help your organization achieve its talent attraction and retention goals. Below, we’ve listed a few ideas customized to the employee population that have come out of discussions with our construction clients, as well as our partners within the industry.

Financial wellness options

Construction employees of every level within your organization want to know that you are invested in their financial stability. Beyond general compensation, employees are seeking out financial wellness education from their employers: younger employees are looking for companies to offer student loan repayment programs, while robust 401(k) or financial planning services could influence the retention rates of more tenured or executive-level professionals.

Expanded mental health and wellness

A 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study concluded that male construction workers have one of the highest suicide rates of all industries and are at four times greater risk than the general public. This is a serious issue for the industry, and something that employers should be aware of and potentially provide resources and benefits to combat.

Construction organizations may consider expanded options such as free access to mental wellness apps, waiving cost-sharing for mental health services, or subsidizing telehealth mental health counseling for their employees.

Lifestyle costs

A combination of ongoing inflation and global supply chain issues have caused lifestyle costs to be unmanageable or even unsustainable for employees in many industries, but particularly in construction. Employers who are looking for ways to customize their benefits package to fit their employees’ needs should look for benefit opportunities to subsidize some of these costs, including a cell phone stipend or offering the usage of a company car.

Key Takeaways

While benefits can be sold as a prepackaged solution, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t lead to a workforce that values their benefits or your company as an employer.

Construction companies who want to engage their workforce with customized voluntary benefits should work with a broker who can provide a comprehensive, customized strategy that aligns with your overall benefits philosophy.

This article was originally published in the The Daily Reporter in June 2022.

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